Climbing a Cold Mountain for a Nordic Getaway

Cabin Creek selfie
SkiZer meets snow ghosts on Mount Amabilis.

Day 8: Jan. 2, 2016

  • Mount Amabilis – Cabin Creek Sno-Park
  • Kilometers skied: 18K
  • Season total: 63K

It was 10 degrees when I stepped out of the car and headed up the trail to Mount Amabilis. Breezy and foggy, it felt much colder.

I had my sights set on the top,  where the sun would be shining I hoped. Strapping on the classic Nordic skis, I worked hard and soon shed layers during the steady slog upward.

I passed several groups snow-shoeing on the skate portion of the trail. I also passed several groups of dudes post-holing in their hiking boots. Question: When did become OK to ruin a groomed Nordic trail? Snowshoes are one thing, but hiking boots?

Maybe the SkiZer is a little old and cranky, but that doesn’t seem right. At least that’s off my chest.

Amabilis climb
Mount Rainier in the distance.

Happy to leave the post-holers behind, I hit sunshine about halfway up. I’d never been on this trail, and it’s very nice. You’ll even get views of Mount Rainier during the pleasant climb.

Once on top, I wolfed down lunch amid the snow ghosts in bright sunshine. It doesn’t get much better than this on a cold January day.

Amabilis summit
Top of the world … or Mount Amabilis, at least.

The ski down was a long bone-chilling affair. Next time, I’ll bring a parka in the pack.

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